VA Local Energy Alliance Program: New Law Allows Homeowners In HOAs To Install Rooftop Solar
6.18.20 | "An updated educational report prepared by Richmond energy law firm ReisingerGooch PLC and Charlottesville-based nonprofit the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP), explains how a new Virginia law has significantly expanded the rights of homeowners who are a part of Homeowners’ Associations (HOAs) to install and use solar energy. The report provides homeowners and HOAs with helpful guidance on Virginia’s solar laws as they evaluate new residential rooftop solar installations.
During the 2020 General Assembly session, the legislature passed SB 504, which provides that HOAs may impose only so-called “reasonable restrictions” on the installation of rooftop solar. The legislation states that restrictions are unreasonable if they increase the cost of a project by 5 percent or decrease the project’s energy generation by 10 percent.
In addition to helping HOAs and their residents resolve problems, the report also highlights several homeowner benefits of solar, including decreased utility bills, increased property values, and roof protection from precipitation and UV rays. The installation of rooftop solar, particularly when paired with battery storage, enables homeowners to enjoy more self-reliance from the electric grid and greater reliability when the electric grid is otherwise disrupted from storms or other outage causes."